Virtual centre at IIT-B mooted to provide climate solutions

Mumbai, Feb 7 (PTI) Alumni and directors of all IITshave proposed a virtual centre at IIT-Bombay for ClimateChange Science which would co-ordinate work of all environmentrelated faculty across these premier technology institutionsthrough a holistic approach.

Resolving to take on the defining challenges of ClimateChange in the 21st century, scientists and engineers here saidthere was an urgent need to take action for low carbon andclimate resilient development.

At a round table hosted by IIT-B last week-end, theyexplored how to channelise the knowledge and technologymanagement capabilities of IIT Alumni in addressing thedevelopmental solutions through low-carbon, climate-resilientsocieties and proposed for a virtual centre at IIT-B.

Directors and representatives from five IITs along withthe Alumni from various academic, industry and governmentalorganisations including proponents of the initiative fromLondon and Paris deliberated to consider ongoing efforts andplans of IITs in areas of climate change, priority sectors tobe addressed and coordination needed to achieve early results.

"All IITs have research programmes related to climatechange. Considering the magnitude of the problem, it would beuseful to have coordination among the IITs while addressingsome of the grand challenges of climate change," they opined.

A model for such a PAN-IIT effort is the Ganga RiverBasin Management Plan project which is currently underway ,said IIT-B Director, Professor Devang Khakhar.

"IIT Alumni efforts to bring in their networking andgroup efforts to support programmes in the IITs will be ofgreat benefit. Proposal of a virtual centre at IIT Bombay forclimate change science which would co-ordinate work of allenvironment related faculty across IITs and drive a holisticapproach," he said. .

"A crisis (climate change) harbours opportunities. We could seize the opportunities to develop new business modelsand to set the economy on the alternative path of low carbonand climate resilient development", said Rajendra Shende,Director at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and anIIT Alumni.

"While solving climate puzzle, it is becoming more andmore evident that economy and environment are on the same sideof the game," said Shende.

IITs can provide a knowledge management forum to identifyand debate technology, policy, finance, and communication andeducation issues. It could also showcase emerging solutions,he said.

Participants also agreed on the need to establishindustry outreach and executive education programs to promoteawareness and debate on these issues.

Mumbai, Feb 7 (PTI) Indian Institute of Technology herehas been invited by the New York City Economic DevelopmentCorporation(NYCEDC)to submit a proposal to set up a new campusfor Applied Science courses.

IIT-B has formed a committee to finalise a proposal whichis expected to be sent to New York next month.

Prof Subhasis Chaudhuri, Dean, International Relations ofthe IIT-B told PTI that the institute received NYCEDCinvitation three weeks back and if the proposal is selected,the Corporation would provide capital to set up the campus andprovide land.

But later on the centre will have to sustain on its own,he said.

The proposal is at a nascent stage and it is too early totalk about and the internal discussions is on. However, IIT-Bis seriously considering the proposal, Chaudhuri said.

NYCEDC has made similar proposals to several topinstitutions around the globe bidding for the same project.

NYCEDC is offering a unique opportunity to develop apremier science and research facility and campus in the Cityof New York, according to its website. The last date forsubmitting the proposals is March 16.

In a City with more than 626,000 students and 39 per centof global market capitalisation, it is a business andacademic capital, both nationally and internationally.

In order to maintain a diverse and competitive economy,the City seeks to strengthen its applied sciencescapabilities, particularly in fields which lend themselves tocommercial opportunities, the Corporation said.

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